If you love emeralds but want a more durable wear-everyday stone, say hello to green sapphires. Rated a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, green sapphires are just behind diamonds in durability - making them a perfect engagement ring stone or keep-forever gem. Not to mention, they're heart-stoppingly stunning with an infinite array of tones and hues from deep forest green to dewdrop pale green and everything in between.
Keep reading for your complete guide to picking the perfect green sapphire + our favorite one-of-a-kind loose sapphires in every shade of green.
Deep Green Sapphires
Like the deepest depths of a jewel-toned forest, dark green sapphires are hard to find but impossible to resist. They're dramatic, regal, and the epitome of old money energy. Give the richest green emerald a run for its money with these wizard of oz worthy stones.
We try not to play favorites, but we can't help but favor this mythical blue-green tone. Giving rainforest vibes and tropical ocean energy, it's such an aesthetic, joyful color. If you're a GB gal, you know we've created many a viral ring with teal sapphires and honestly, we're just getting started.
Light Green to Mid Green Sapphires
From the lightest yellow green to a richer, more saturated mid-tone green and all the slightly aqua shades in between, we love green sapphires on the lighter end of the spectrum. They're unexpected and deliciously unique, and you know that's where our heart lies.
Bi-Color Green-Yellow Sapphires
Bi-color (or parti) sapphires have two distinct colors that are visible in any light. Bi-color green sapphires are typically yellow alongside green but there are always unexpected color combinations to be found - nature is unpredictable! Every bi-color sapphire is a one-of-a-kind nature made creation that will never be repeated in that exact same pattern - a truly incredible effect that cannot be replicated in a lab.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR GREEN SAPPHIRE
GREEN SAPPHIRE COLOR
The most important 'c' for sapphires is color. Available in an extensive array of tones from light pastel green to vibrant teal to deep forest green and literally every hue in between, green sapphires are a choice lover's dream.
So how to choose? Well first, start with what you're drawn to - there is no strict color grading criteria for sapphires (like there is for diamonds) so it's really about picking what you love. If you need help deciding, look at the three main factors of natural green sapphire color - hue, tone, and saturation:
Green Sapphire Hue:the variety of green - this ranges from pure green to blue-green to yellow-green hues.
Green Sapphire Tone: how light or dark the color is. Green sapphires range from deep, rich dark green to a pale, light green. The most sought after stones fall somewhere in the middle of this range - not too dark and not too light goldilocks stones. Why? The darkest stones can look almost black and the lightest stones can look a little lacklustre (though we've seen some ultra light sapphires we love.)
Green Sapphire Saturation: How intense or vivid the color is. The more vivid, the higher the value.
GREEN SAPPHIRE CLARITY
Unlike diamonds which are intensely scoured for inclusions, sapphires are held to a different standard. Since sapphires are formed alongside many other minerals that get easily trapped inside the stone, it's accepted that almost every sapphire will have visible inclusions/flaws. Having said that, most sapphires available today are heat treated to improve clarity so inclusions are less obvious.
The goal for sapphire clarity is ‘eye-clean' (no inclusions visible to the naked eye) rather than clean or near-clean when looking through a loupe. The good news: inclusions are much less noticeable in sapphires versus diamonds thanks to their color.
Inclusions can also be incredibly interesting and mesmerizing. In fact, some of our favorite sapphires are opalescent sapphires - cloudy, heavily included stones with the most ethereal, dreamlike energy.
If you do find a completely flawless sapphire, it's likely lab-created or synthetic. Natural green sapphires with perfect (or almost perfect clarity) are incredibly rare and private-plane-level expensive.
GREEN SAPPHIRE CUT
Unlike round brilliant diamonds which have standardized cut parameters to judge a stone's cut quality, sapphires are specifically cut to maximize their individualized color, clarity, and brilliance. The most aesthetic sapphires are cut symmetrically with symmetrical facets, and reflect light well from every angle.
Often the darker green sapphires are cut shallower for a brighter color, and the lighter green sapphires are cut deeper for extra intensity and dimension.
In terms of shape, sapphires can be cut into every shape under the sun. Choose what you love!
GREEN SAPPHIRE CARAT WEIGHT
Contrary to popular thought, carat weight refers to the weight of stone rather than the size of a stone, and since sapphires weigh more than diamonds, a one carat green sapphire will look slightly smaller than a one carat diamond. So, use carat as a starting point to estimate size and then look at the mm measurement of the stone to determine the actual size.
How is a green sapphire formed?
A sapphire is a precious gem made from the mineral corundum. When a sapphire is pure 100% corundum, it will be white in color. When small doses of other elements make their way into the stone, new colors are created. A natural green sapphire specifically is made when varying amounts of iron (and sometimes titanium) mix with corundum.
Read our blog for more on every color of sapphire!
Meaning of green sapphires
Green sapphires are aligned with the heart chakra - they help us build love, compassion, and meaningful connections with ourself and others. A soothing color, green sapphires symbolize calm and ease - helping us slow our thoughts and soothe our emotions.
Green sapphire vs emerald
While green sapphire and emerald are both stunning green precious gemstones, that's where the similarities end. Green sapphires are a member of the corundum family, whereas emeralds are made of the mineral beryl.
Green sapphires are much more durable than emerald, ranking a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, whereas emeralds only score a 7.5-8. For an engagement ring, a green sapphire is a much more durable, and damage-resistant green gemstone option.
Emeralds are also much more difficult to find than green sapphires and have more natural inclusions.
In terms of price, green sapphires are usually more expensive than emeralds though it all depends on quality. If you're looking for the shiniest, most lustrous stone, a green sapphire may be your match. If you love a softer, more velvety vibe, you'll love an emerald.
Where to buy green sapphire engagement rings
We specialize in one-of-a-kind unique yet timeless engagement rings and treat-yourself rings and green sapphires are one of our favorite stones to work with. Whether you're looking to create a custom green sapphire engagement ring or a showstopping just-because green sapphire ring, we've got you.